I didn’t know Dick Egan, never had a conversation with him. I knew him by reputation alone, a larger-than-life legend out of the misty past of EMC’s glory days. It’s not often you hear the words “self-made billionaire.” If you work in high tech, especially in Massachusetts (or in storage), your story and his probably intersect somewhere.
I don’t presume to speak for those who knew him. But when I came back from vacation this past weekend and saw the news of his death, it was those people I thought of, the people who helped build EMC into the place it is today, who bridged the gap between the EMC before 2001 and the EMC of 2009, who were there to see Egan’s vision and adapted it into a vision for the next century. I thought of Polly Pearson’s post about the rise of EMC’s stock during the 90s, and about Egan’s response to the Working Mother’s Experience book. I thought of the many long-tenured employees who would have memories of the early days, and wondered what they would say. I expect the coming week will bring out a lot of personal stories from those people and others.
My heart goes out to all of Egan’s Many Children, and to the large and literal family he also leaves behind.